Boys basketball powerhouses flash offence in U-17, U-15 national championship openers

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EDMONTON - The first Under-15 and Under-17 national boys' basketball championships in three years tipped off Monday in Edmonton, and it didn't take long to recognize a couple powerhouses in both tournaments.

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EDMONTON – The first Under-15 and Under-17 national boys’ basketball championships in three years tipped off Monday in Edmonton, and it didn’t take long to recognize a couple powerhouses in both tournaments.

In the under-17 championship at Saville Community Sports Centre, B.C. dunked Newfoundland & Labrador 119-54, while Quebec crushed New Brunswick 103-45. Manitoba outlasted Alberta 78-67, and Ontario rolled past Saskatchewan 83-58.

The national championships, which include teams from every province in the country, conclude Saturday with medal games. The 2020 and 2021 championships were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seven B.C. players hit double-digits in the opening day win, led by Jeremiah Francis with 13. Irish Coquia and Torian Lee scored 12 apiece for the winners. Andrew Barnes led Newfoundland & Labrador with 11.

Ludovic Tournier led the Quebec attack against New Brunswick with a game-high 17 points, while teammate Sader Servilus scored 16. Brady Herbert scored 14 points in the loss.

Noah Kankam had an impressive debut as he scored 21 points for Manitoba in tipping the host side. Miguel Nitro chipped in with 17 points for Manitoba. Nate Waldron led Alberta with 13 points.

Arden Begaj led Ontario over Saskatchewan with 14 points, with teammates Jordan Dickson and Justus Haseley adding 13 and 12 points, respectively. Dillyn Morin paced Saskatchewan with a game-high 18 points.

In the under-15 championship, Saskatchewan whipped New Brunswick 91-75, while Ontario bounced Alberta 99-57. Prince Edward Island outlasted Newfoundland & Labrador 69-55 and Quebec rolled Nova Scotia 107-86.

Thomas Olson put on a scoring clinic for Saskatchewan with a game-high 26 points. Teammate Kian Tyson scored 18. Jacob Christie led New Brunswick with 19 points.

Jordan Charles paced the Ontario attack against Alberta with 18 points, while teammate Quinten Ethier chipped in with 15. Birch Pockar led Alberta with 12 points.

Rayner Glenn had a game-high 17 points and Coulton MacDougall had 14 to lead P.E.I. past Newfoundland & Labrador. Lucas Mate scored 13 in a losing effort.

Victor Boulanger was electric for Quebec as he scored 31 points against Nova Scotia. Noah Anthony Felix with 21 points and Promis Nlandu with 20 also ignited the winning offence. Ben Dale scored 24 points for Nova Scotia, while teammate Zachary White chipped in with 20.

All the teams were to attend a national championship banquet Monday night and then play two games on Tuesday.

TUESDAY’S SCHEDULE: In the Under-17 championship there are six games on the menu. In order, Manitoba plays B.C., Alberta plays Nova Scotia, Ontario plays New Brunswick, Quebec plays Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia plays Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador plays Alberta.

In the Under-15 championship there are six games as well. In order, Prince Edward Island plays Manitoba, Saskatchewan plays B.C., Manitoba plays Newfoundland and B.C. plays New Brunswick. Two games are still to be determined.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 1, 2022.

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